Rose and Thorn Activity for Your Classroom

13 min read
Rose and Thorn Activity for Your Classroom

“Rose, Bud, Thorn,” a daily or weekly routine commonly employed in schools and classrooms, can assist educators in the promotion of social-emotional learning (SEL) qualities, such as empathy, social awareness, mindfulness, and thankfulness. Adults can also participate when teaching “Rose, Bud, Thorn.”

When students return to the classroom in the fall of 2021-22, educators will be particularly concerned about monitoring their well-being, forming relationships with them, and assisting as they adjust to their new environment.

Teachers might use “Rose, Bud, Thorn” as a low-lift method of supporting and guiding students through the transitions connected with the pandemic.

Roses represent something good that has happened to a student that day; thorns, on the other hand, represent something bad that has happened to a student that day.
In general, most of us have a decent sense of recognizing thorns because they are so common.

It is something that did not turn out the way you had hoped. It could be that you dropped your first pancake while trying to flip it or that you were unable to achieve the full potential of your idea.

It is something that did not turn out the way you had hoped

Rose and Thorn’s Mechanism of Operation

Rose, Bud, and Thorn can be used in various ways, but we will focus on problem-solving in the workplace. It is better to come up with several Roses, Buds, and Thorns in this situation rather than just one.

If you are on your own, you may jot down a specific number for each. It is possible to develop a Rose, a Bud, and a Thorn for each team member. Quick questions, such as the ones we have provided further down, can help flow the creative juices.

Rose, Bud, Thorn serves the following purposes:

  • Determine strengths and weaknesses, and then implement methods to increase the good and fix the bad.
  • Motivate team discussion and brainstorming by bringing up topics like “Buds” during meetings.
  • It is important to get an opinion from everyone on the team, especially those who are not accustomed to contributing.
It is important to get an opinion from everyone

Helpful Suggestions for Facilitators and Implementers

Encourage pupils to adopt a growth mentality and show empathy by asking probing questions. Your role as a facilitator is to assist students in recognizing and asking for help when they encounter difficulties, celebrate little victories, and identify new ideas or experiences they are eager to explore.

What techniques or resources would they have used to convert their “thorn” to their benefit if they had the opportunity? What can they do differently next time if a tactic does not work? For them to transform their “thorn” into a “rose?” what could they give to a trusted colleague?

Helpful Suggestions for Facilitators and Implementers

In addition to the “Rose, Bud, and Thorn” Journal, you may want to encourage your kids to keep one of their own. “Roses, buds, and thorns” can help children set objectives, build their thinking abilities, and identify times when they overcome barriers with the help of peers or adults by recording and commenting on their experiences.

Students have the option of exposing themselves to a greater or lesser degree of risk. Simply saying “the weather is nice today” with a rose can be interpreted as such. “I am exhausted” could be a low-risk thorn. Then many want to offer more personal details, such as “My rose is that I completed all of my homework even though I was stressed out,” or “My thorn was that my dog is sick and I am worried about her.”

The students in the classroom are asked to name a thorn or a rose. My thoughts and feelings are also openly exchanged. Every step of this method takes less than five minutes.

The rose and thorn check-in, despite its simplicity, is a crucial aspect of my classroom community-building strategy. Students should be commended for transforming their “thorns” into “roses” at school-wide or community activities.

The rose and thorn check-in, despite its simplicity

With external stakeholders, the influence of SEL can be elevated (such as families and community partners). When confronted with personal or academic difficulties, it can also serve as a reminder of the significance of working together as a team and maintaining a growth mentality.

Interactive Check-In Perks

Every student’s voice is important. The Rose and thorn check-in helps ensure that all students have a chance to speak up at the beginning of class. Even though students have the option of saying “pass” instead of contributing, every single day, every single kid gets the chance to be heard. Active listening, turn-taking, and adhering to group standards can all be practiced during the check-in.

Students learn to recognize and respond to other people’s emotions: This glimpse of pupils’ emotional states is captured when they exchange roses and thorns. “I did not sleep much last night,” or, if I hear, “I cannot focus today,” are two examples of students’ thorns that I may use to change my interactions with them, respectively.

Rose and thorn check-ins are opportunities for pupils to explore being emotionally vulnerable with their classmates. Comfort with speaking one’s mind and taking risks in the classroom results from this.

Interactive Check-In Perks

“Thank you,” followed by the student’s name, and then turn your focus to the next person in the circle,” as suggested by John Milton Oliver, a fellow educator. It shows that you are open to new ideas while keeping things moving forward.

How do feelings affect our ability to learn? Consider how students’ flowers and thorns might affect their capacity to participate in a class before or after the check-in.

Instruct your kids to think of ways to help a fellow student with a big thorn or a good friend with an enticing rose. The model’s authenticity: While keeping your job and professional boundaries in mind, strive to be honest while sharing.

For instance, “My rose is that my class last period went well,” or “My thorn is that I am a little behind on giving feedback on your papers, and it is stressing me out. ” Be honest with your students about your vulnerabilities.

An Attitude for Troubles

Here are some helpful hints to ensure that this activity goes as planned.

Repetition is the key to success. Routines can take a long time to learn, depending on your group’s skill level and cohesiveness. You cannot give up, but make sure you do it quickly and often. It is funny how keen my younger students might be to bargain with me. “Can I please have three roses and two thorns?” they will ask.

Allow children some time to reflect before writing or drawing what they plan to communicate. Make a plan to follow up on any issues that may arise: Students may, on rare occasions, bring up something troubling. Make a plan for how you and your class will respond to this situation.

An Attitude for Troubles

Often, this is only a matter of contacting a student one-on-one to assist. Consider incorporating weekly community-building circles into your classroom for themes that could benefit from a larger group discussion.

Contribute to The Development of Your Garden

You can also try lightning round if your group is too large to do a full share: “Thorn: sick dog “Rose, it is sunny!” By contrast, you may divide the class into smaller groups of three or four students, who would then share their complete check-ins.

Every teacher knows that there is never enough time in a class period to get everything done. When I look at the rose and thorn check-in as an investment in my classroom community, it does not feel like “one more thing.” Students can tell that I care about them because I make time to hear their voices.

Rose, Bud, and Thorn can help whom?

For students in grades K-12 and adults in school buildings, the “Rose, Bud, Thorn” activity can be useful. “Rose, Bud, and Thorn” is a popular bell ringer or exit ticket for pupils at the Tier 1 level, and many teachers incorporate it into their core academic instruction.

This game is a terrific conversation starter during one-on-one encounters with students or restorative practices like community circles.

To aid children who are having difficulty setting objectives, battling with their self-efficacy, or having difficulty asking for help, instructors can use the “Rose, Bud, Thorn” strategy at the second-tier level.

A daily or weekly check-in with school counselors, paraprofessionals, and instructors can help children keep a journal of “roses, buds, and thorns” to foster self-reflection and a growth mentality. Teachers and staff can demonstrate this exercise with colleagues and in front of students to better understand how it works.

Many schools use “Rose, Bud, Thorn” in their staff meetings to assist adults in understanding, to develop, and modeling essential social-emotional learning (SEL) abilities. It is helpful for adults to reflect on their own “roses, buds, and thorns” to understand better “Rose, Bud, Thorn” and how to implement it with students.

Self-acceptance and sound decision-making are fostered through this routine in which pupils reflect on their recent triumphs, problems, and possibilities. In many classrooms, this procedure is used for weekly goal-setting and self-reflection by teachers.

Rose, Bud, and Thorn can help whom


Begin by defining the words, especially when you first utilize the procedure. Students should know that a rose refers to a recent high point, success, or minor victory they have had. Something they have had to deal with has been called a thorn. Something is exciting about the bud, and they are anticipating it.

Please take a few minutes to give students the Rose and Thorn activity sheet and ask them to reflect on the preceding few days or weeks.

Have students debrief in pairs or triads after showing the practice by sharing your Rose and Thorn reflection and then asking for recommendations to help with your thorn. Gather the handouts so that you can keep an eye out for the well-being of your students.

Global protests against COVID-19 and the pandemic’s spread have had a huge impact on education. Many people have discovered inventive methods to connect and continue learning, even though it has been exceedingly difficult.

Our children can reflect on the year – or the month – and express how they have continued to learn when we help them do so during times of change.

Celebrate and build on their accomplishments as they go through these difficult times. If you want to get the conversation started with your pupils or youngsters, ask them to think of a Rose, a Thorn, or a Bud they have encountered.

The summer or the upcoming school year is a great time for children to think about what they want to learn or experience in the future. Let us also offer them the chance to reflect on the difficult things they encountered to support them better.

The summer or the upcoming school year is a great time for children to think